Liturgical Colour : White
Brothers and sisters in Christ, today we hear about the call that Jesus made to His first disciples, when St. John the Baptist announced to the people, the truth about Jesus, that is the Lamb of God. One may ask, why Lamb of God? To answer this, we have to look at the role of the lamb in the society of Israel and the faith that they had, that is following the laws of God as given through Moses.
The lamb is one of the few animals mentioned at the Book of Leviticus, used in the offerings to God, which in this book, were used for various purposes. The most important of these sacrifices were the sin and burnt offerings to God, in which the animals were slaughtered and their blood on the Altar of God represent the cleansing of the sins of God’s people, and the purification of their souls.
But these offering of lambs and other animals as sin offerings, were only temporary. They did not completely erase the sins of the people, nor did they justify the people in God. The people were only given a breather in their sinful daily lives, and they have to offer the sacrifices again and again to keep themselves worthy of the Lord.
That is because, even though unblemished lamb supposed to be used, they are not perfect, not in the way that the Lamb of God is perfect in all aspects. Then, to add to the point of the truth about the Lamb of God, we have to also remember about what happened when God saved His people Israel from their slavery in Egypt. God asked the people through Moses, to find unblemished lamb, and slaughter it so that its blood could be used to mark the houses of God’s people.
The blood let it known to the angels of death sent by God to kill the firstborn of the Egyptians, that the houses marked by the blood belong to God. Yes, death passed the houses of the faithful who obeyed the Lord, and the people of Israel were saved and liberated by the Lord who loved them. In this light therefore, we too, should see the Lord Jesus, the Lamb of God.
For indeed we can define the role of Lord Jesus Christ in these two characteristics. First that Jesus is the Lamb of sacrifice, the most worthy of all, to be the offering for all of our sins. As Jesus is Himself God incarnate, He is perfect and indeed the only One perfect to redeem us from our sinfulness, and to make worthy again all the people of God.
Then secondly, Jesus is the Lamb whose Blood becomes the mark of all the faithful ones in God, that when the Day of Judgment comes, God will know those who belong to Him, and those who had remained faithful and true to His ways. Remember that Jesus in the Last Supper gave His own Body and Blood in the transformed bread and wine for His disciples to eat and drink.
This is very much in the same way as the lamb of the Passover, where the lamb was slaughtered, and it was eaten by the family of the people who slaughtered it, and the blood used to mark the houses of the faithful. Jesus is our Passover Lamb, or more precisely the Paschal Lamb of sacrifice, who brought with Him the joy and hope of Easter. In this perfect sacrifice of Christ, which He made on the cross, He reunited mankind to the Lord, and made the whole creation to be filled once again with hope.
Jesus did not come into this world for leisure or without a clear purpose. He had a clear aim, that is to liberate mankind from their slavery to sin and evil, ever since mankind were sundered from God after they had sinned. Jesus laid Himself freely for us, as a lamb led to the place of slaughter, just as He went through grievous scourging and suffering during His Passion and way towards the cross. All these, He did for our sake, that we may be free forever from the dominion of sin and evil.
Yet, as we all know, brethren, many of us still live in darkness and prefer to be in the darkness rather than to be in the light. We turn ourselves away from the Lamb. He offered us freely the graces He had poured onto us with His sacrifice, and yet we still prefer to rebel against Him and reject His offer of salvation and eternal life.
We prefer to live in our sinfulness and our current way of life, instead of seeking the Lord in the way that the disciples had done. Remember what happened when John the Baptist proclaimed to the disciples, that Jesus is the Lamb of God. The disciples straight away went and follow Him, without questioning and without doubting!
Can we too, brothers and sisters, profess our faith in Jesus in the same way? Jesus offered Himself to us, for our sake, and died for us on the cross, that we will be saved and received new life in Him. He went quietly and obediently to the slaughtering table, so that we ourselves will not have to endure death and its punishment for eternity. We are sinners yes, but we do have the capacity and ability to change ourselves for the better.
Therefore, let us today seek first to know more about our Lord, the Lamb of God, and then learn to love Him and seek Him more and more, that we will be more intimate in our relationship with Him. Let us not be ignorant of His love but instead seek to increase even more the love we have for Him. May the Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, free us from the hands of Satan, and bring us into new life eternal. Amen.